Those of us living in towns and villages outside the big cities often take our gardens and private outside spaces for granted. These areas have become much more important during the coronavirus lockdown, and it is no surprise that gardens and private patios or balconies have become essential requirements for many people looking to move house now that property market restrictions have been relaxed.
Previously the must-haves might be a home-cinema, state-of-the-art kitchen or workout area. According to a report by personal finance website This is Money, these elements have now been overtaken by demand for properties with a garden. Quoting research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the website claims that 81% of estate agents questioned agreed that homes with gardens or balconies will be in greatest demand over the next two years, along with properties close to green spaces.
Estate Agents have coined the name “greenshifters” for people looking to move out of the city and buy a property with a decent amount of land or smallholding. As well as their ideal home greenshifters require a plot of land large enough to grow their own food, or even raise livestock such as chickens, pigs and goats. The Royal Horticultural Society claims that a third of a million people visited its Grow Your Own website in May, an increase of 316% from a year ago, with Chris Harrop who chaired the judges panel for the RHS’s garden product of the year, commenting: “The lockdown has unleashed a wave of passion across the country for all things gardening and particularly for growing fruit and vegetables.”
The Office for National Statistics says that one in eight households in Britain has no access to a private or shared garden, with this figure rising to one in five in London where green space is at its most scarce. With the coronavirus lockdown limiting people’s horizons to their own four walls it is no surprise that estate agents are seeing many more enquiries for properties with some external space. This Is Money claims that according to estate agents, properties with modest private gardens needing little maintenance are currently the most sought after. Experts say that homes with well-maintained gardens, featuring lawns, flower beds and vegetable plots, could add up to 5% to the value of a mid-range property.
So, when it comes to preparing your property for sale, make sure that along with de-cluttering and finishing off any DIY jobs, you trim your garden borders, mow the lawn, and cut back overhanging branches. Money may not grow on trees, but getting your garden to look its best could definitely put more cash in your pocket.
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